In Montald’s work, idealism seems to be immediately attained. He expresses a distant world, made of perfection and peace, with no real link with the present. The dialectic around the fall from grace and salvation, an obsession for Frédéric, Delville or Fabry, is absent.
In the decorative realm – inspired early on by Whistler’s research for his 'PeacockRoom' -, Montald marries his palette’s atmospheric unity with the soaring of lines, which in 'The Nest' – produced the same year Horta started building the Tassel Hotel -, brings Art Nouveau style to mind.
The flower element contributes to the allegoric transposition of the ornament in a wide movement of purification of the line, which from 1896, will become more and more obvious in the few sculptures produced by Montald. The line’s concentration renders a spiritual state striving towards asceticism. It gives rhythm and organizes space, giving up all depth to spread itself on the canvas’ surface as a tapestry.
(from Michel Draguet, in 'Le Symbolisme en Belgique', Brussels, RMFAB, 2010, p. 272)
English Translation by Marianne Reynolds (2010)